Chicagoan, husband, father, grandfather, D Day veteran, record producer, band manager, club owner, publisher, serial entrepreneur, music promoter, epicurean captain of the Lunch Club.
Ed McCaskey, Eli Schulman, Howard Bedno
He was always impeccably dressed, a marked preference for Armani. An easy man to find, he held a ritual court amid his consorts, the rich and famous lunch crowd at Eli's. A maven of national eminence, he was also the tireless mensch that returned your call the same day without fail ("please hold, Mr. Bedno calling"). While he was certainly "Mr. Bedno" to many, he was simply "Howard" to a great many more.
At industry gatherings he shunned the designated hotels, instead making The Ritz Carlton or The Four Seasons his pied-a-terre. He didn't just stay at a five star hotel, he owned the joint. No matter his surroundings, Howard was in facile command of a refined and engaging presence. Everyone who met this gentleman immediately knew him to be somebody special; his grace, charm, sharp sense of humor and infectious laugh won over even the most jaded. Howard prevailed.
He was well read, conversant at the post graduate level on all things media, politics, sports, entertainment, affairs of the day, and business, especially the business of music. He brought perspective to the party, he had been there and done that too many times to mention. Accordingly, he often introduced that most rare of arguments - the obvious, while also imparting another seldom heard point of view - the relevant. And Howard was iconic; he embodied the authentic old school perspicacious spirit of music's halcyon days. He loved music and he loved show business. He lived each day with vivacity, he suffered no fools, living his life in Chicago a world apart from the pretension and vanities of New York and the coast. His famous wit and Chicago-style brand of candor was fresh with honest bite, one leavened by the street wisdom of Chicago's hardscrabble west side. In the autumn of his years he wasted no time laurelling, obsessed in the moment, his conversation vivid with today and tomorrow.
He possessed a knack for picking not only hit records but hit people as well. John Rook, John Gehron, Barry James, Joel Denver, Steve Dahl, Jay Cunniff, Johnny B, Sonny Joe White, Marty Greenberg, Steve Perun, Ric Lippincott, Gary Bond, Art Roberts, Dick Biondi, Fred Winston, Bill Curtis, Tex Meyer, Jeff McClusky, Kevin Metheny, Dave Shakes, Burt Burdeen, Kurt Hanson, Harvey Wells, Margo Kenez, Jerry Greenberg, John Iltis, Donny Ienner, Rich Melman, Steve Rudolf, Stuart Brent, Jhani Kaye, Tim Sabien, Nancy Stein, Buddy Scott, Todd Cavanaugh, Irving Azoff and Mike Ditka are but a few of the many whose gifts he recognized and championed over the years. As the genius Chuck Blore once scored for WCFL..."as much a part of Chicago as"...so went the indigenous son turned legend Howard Bedno.
There has never been a person like Howard, nor will there ever be again. All of us who knew him are blessed, each and all better for having known this fine gentleman. Howard was a giant, an original, a class act and a dear friend. More here and here
Tuesday, May 16, 2006